Frost on the Pumpkin, Dust on the Bible
I remember waking up to the radio alarm one day to the refrain, “Hello country bumpkin, how’s the frost out on the pumpkin?” My wife and I laughed and laughed at such words to be awakened with. In this season of the fall harvest when pumpkins seem to spring up everywhere, I think about those days of innocence, those days when our biggest concern was the frost on the pumpkin.
At this time of the year our nation celebrates Halloween’s many activities, which includes carving out pumpkins and sitting them on the front porch steps. It has become a family tradition for millions of people. Yet very few use the bounty of the pumpkin for food.
One year at this time we had so many real pumpkins on our porch, fake pumpkins in the flowerbeds, and even giant blow up plastic pumpkins in the front yard that we earned the title, “The Pumpkin house,” from the neighborhood kids. But we didn’t eat a single one! (Pumpkin, not kids).
Now here we are again in the fall season when these orange spheres show up in front yards like dandelions on a summer day. We surround ourselves with this beautiful bounty as decoration but the food within we discard on newspaper.
The Bible says,
“Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee” (Psalm 116:7 KJV).
Are we enjoying the bounty?
The poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who was born in Massachusetts in 1807, wrote:
“The Pumpkin” (1850)
Oh! Fruit loved of boyhood! The old days recalling.
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
Back in the olden days, a carved pumpkin was placed on the family hearth to keep evil spirits from coming down the chimney and into the home to do their dastardly deeds.
Today, in homes across America many have replaced this use of the carved pumpkin with the Bible. Now bear with me a moment. We set the Bible out on the coffee table, enjoy its beauty, and yet rarely pick it up. We know that it holds a bounty within, yet we don’t feast on the rich food of the word when it’s sitting right here in front of us. We dust it, and display it with pride when visitors come, yet how many times, like the pumpkin, does it end up just sitting on a newspaper?
The food within the Bible nourishes our spiritual man within, yet we are starving ourselves and allowing the spirits to enter our homes through the modern-day chimney, the television. Now that’s scary. Wouldn’t our fore-bearers be aghast if they could see us today? We might call them superstitious for trying to ward off evil spirits with a carved pumpkin, but what would they say about us for not even trying?
The wonderful bounty of the pumpkin awaits the pies, while the life-giving food in the Bible awaits our eyes. This season, when you see the pumpkin carved so ingeniously and sitting on the porch, remind yourself of the Bible written so divinely and sitting on your table. It has a candle within which will never go out and will keep every evil spirit at bay.
Inside the Bible it says,
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105 KJV).
So hello, County Bumpkin! How’s the frost out on the pumpkin? Hello, modern rival! How’s the dust out on the Bible? Happy Feasting!
1 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
2 Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
3 Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
4 Let them now that fear the Lord say, that his mercy endureth for ever.
5 I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.
6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
7 The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me.
8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them.
11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.
12 They compassed me about like bees: they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.
13 Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.
Streams in the Desert – October 20
- 202120 Oct
“And the peace of God, which transcends all our powers of thought, will be a garrison to guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7)
There is what is called the “cushion of the sea.” Down beneath the surface that is agitated by storms, and driven about with winds, there is a part of the sea that is never stirred. When we dredge the bottom and bring up the remains of animal and vegetable life we find that they give evidence of not having been disturbed in the least, for hundreds and thousands of years. The peace of God is that eternal calm which, like the cushion of the sea, lies far too deep down to be reached by any external trouble and disturbance; and he who enters into the presence of God, becomes partaker of that undisturbed and undisturbable calm.
–Dr. A. T. Pierson
When winds are raging o’er the upper ocean,
And billows wild contend with angry roar,
‘Tis said, far down beneath the wild commotion,
That peaceful stillness reigneth evermore.
Far, far beneath, the noise of tempest dieth,
And silver waves chime ever peacefully,
And no rude storm, how fierce soe’er it flieth,
Disturbs the Sabbath of that deeper sea.
So to the heart that knows Thy love, O Purest,
There is a temple sacred evermore,
And all the babble of life’s angry voices
Dies in hushed silence at its peaceful door.
Far, far away, the roar of passion dieth,
And loving thoughts rise calm and peacefully,
And no rude storm, how fierce soe’er it flieth,
Disturbs the soul that dwells, O Lord, in Thee.
–Harriet Beecher Stowe
Christ’s estimate of his people
By: Charles Spurgeon
“How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.” Solomon’s Song 4:10,11
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
When he comes and begins to praise you, and tells you, “That your lips drop as the honeycomb, that all your actions smell of myrrh, and that your love is better than wine, and that the thoughts under your tongue are better to him than wine and milk,” what will you say? “Oh, Lord, I cannot say thou art mistaken, for thou art infallible; but if I dared so think thou art mistaken, I should say, “Thou art mistaken in me;” but Lord I cannot think thou art mistaken, it must be true. Still, Lord, I do not deserve it; I am conscious I do not and I never can deserve it; still if thou wilt help me, I will strive to be worthy of thy praise in some feeble measure. I will seek to live up to those high praises which thou hast passed upon me. If thou sayest, “My love is better than wine;” Lord, I will seek to love thee better, that the wine may be richer and stronger. If thou sayest, “My graces are like the smell of ointment,” Lord, I will try to increase them, so as to have many great pots filled with them; and if my words drop as the honeycomb, Lord, there shall be more of them, and I will try to make them better, so that thou mayest think more of such honey; and if thou declarest that the thoughts under my tongue are to thee like honey and milk, then, Lord, I will seek to have more of those divine thoughts; and if my daily actions are to thee as the smell of Lebanon, Lord, I will seek to be more holy, to live nearer to thee; I will ask for grace, that my actions may be really what thou sayest they are.”
For meditation: Do you serve God because you feel you ought to, out of a sense of duty? Or because you want to, out of a sense of his love and acceptance of you in Christ? God’s grace should motivate us to obey him even more than God’s law does (Romans 6:15).